It was one of the most fruitful player-manager partnerships in contemporary history.
Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi won 14 titles at Barcelona together over a four-year period, and the duo has been a dominant force in European football for almost a decade.
No player has scored more goals against his teams in the Champions League than Messi since Guardiola departed the Catalan club in 2012.
Guardiola attempted to sign Messi in the summer, owing to their long-standing relationship and Messi’s persistent brilliance. Instead, the Argentine joined Paris Saint-Germain, where he will play his former coach in the Champions League on Tuesday (20:00 BST).
“It was a surprise for everyone but what happened happened. Everyone now accepts it,” Guardiola said in the build-up to the game.
“A long time ago you couldn’t imagine it but it happened. In life itself you never know what happens. What is important is he’ll be happy in Paris.
“Messi speaks for himself, I don’t have to describe him. What he’s done is more than exceptional and hopefully tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game.”
Source: BBC Sport